Kilojoules Burned in Exercise

While it’s true that losing weight has an 80% eating, 20% exercise formula, there is no doubt that adding exercise to your wellness plan will help you burn kilojoules faster than if you did no exercise at all.

The secret weapon to burning kilojoules – exercise!

Weight loss occurs when you use more energy than you consume, and exercise is a fantastic, and healthy way to burn kilojoules in a short space of time.



How many kilojoules can you burn during exercise?

As with determining how many kilojoules one needs in a day, determining how many kilojoules one can burn during exercise depends on a number of factors:

  • Your weight
  • The intensity of your exercise
  • The duration of your exercise period

The heavier you are, the harder you work out, and the longer you train for, the more kilojoules you will burn when you exercise. There is no exact formula for determining the precise number of kilojoules you will personally burn whilst exercising, but the fact remains that the more active you are throughout the day, the more kilojoules you will burn, and the more likely you are to lose fat and become healthier and stronger.

Kilojoule-burning exercises

One of the most common questions about exercise after “how much should I exercise to lose weight?” is “what are the most effective exercises for weight loss?”. Aerobic exercises (cardio) will help you burn the most amount of kilojoules while you are working out, and will help you to become fitter. Weight training exercises on the other hand will help you to lose fat, gain muscle (not bulk!) and become leaner and more toned. And the more lean muscle you have, the more kilojoules you will naturally burn throughout the day.

Many people choose to combine both cardio and weight training into their exercise plan in order to reap the benefits of both. However the best exercise plan is one that you enjoy, and that you will stick to. So try one, or the other, or a combination of both cardio and weight training to see which option works best for you.

As for which types of exercises burn the most kilojoules in a session, take a look at this rough guide:

  • Cycling – 1400kj
  • Jogging – 1350kj
  • Weight training – 1000kj
  • Boxing – 950kj
  • Aerobics – 850kj
  • Dancing – 750kj
  • Brisk walking – 700kj
  • Swimming – 700kj
  • Tennis – 600kj

*Results based on an 80kg person working out for a period of 30 minutes.

Starting your kilojoule-burning exercise plan

Of course, if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym for years, the thought of becoming suddenly active can seem highly daunting and completely undesirable. The good news, however, is that everything you do throughout the day, from working, to watching tv, to sleeping, can help you burn kilojoules. So starting small is a good way to ease yourself from a sedentary, into a more active lifestyle. Just take a look at how many kilojoules these everyday activities can help you burn:

  • Walking the dog – 1300kj
  • Mopping the floor – 1320
  • Gardening – 1170
  • Grocery shopping – 1020kj
  • Vacuuming – 730kj

By simply putting a little more spring into your step when you do the housework, shopping and gardening, you could start burning more kilojoules without even realising it – and it’s an easy, inexpensive way to transition you off the couch and into a healthier way of living.

Popular theory suggests that the optimum amount of exercise one needs to do in a week in order to lose weight (in combination with a low-kilojoule eating plan of course) is 200 minutes (3 hours and 20 minutes). If you are already exercising, simply increase the amount of exercise you do in a week to reach this (if you need to do so).

If you are not exercising at all, then again, start small. Begin by incorporating 50 minutes of exercise into your week, such as a 10-minute walk 5 times a week. Then gradually increase the length and the intensity of your exercise periods until you reach the 200 minute mark. You even may find that as you become stronger and fitter, you want to incorporate more than 200 minutes of exercise into your schedule. If so, go for it – just remember to give your body enough time to recuperate between exercise sessions.

Sticking to your exercise plan

Once you progress past the walking stage and become fitter, you will most likely want to start trying new forms of exercise and challenging your body to go further. Many people start an exercise plan full of enthusiasm, but then become bored or disillusioned and eventually give up after a few weeks or months. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, follow these simple rules and watch the weight fall off:

  • Have a buddy. Having an exercise buddy will mean you are more likely to go through with your exercise plans, as you know someone is waiting for you. This kind of accountability can be a huge help when you are starting out and learning to adjust to a routine. And it’s especially helpful on cold, rainy days when the couch beckons!
  • Schedule your exercise. Blocking out periods of time for exercise in your daily calendar, as you would for a meeting or an appointment, will ensure that you always have space in your day to train, and no excuses to fall back on!
  • Experiment. Try a series of different exercises to see which one (or more) you like the most. If you have fun when you’re exercising, you’re more likely to make it a lasting part of your routine. If you hate working out in a gym, it’s pointless (and expensive) signing up for one. Get out and about and hike or surf instead. Weight training, swimming, martial arts, yoga, pilates, cycling, running – the list is endless! The more forms of exercise you try out, the more likely you are to find one that you’ll love, and stick to.
  • Don’t do too much too soon. If you’ve never exercised before, training for 90 minutes 5 days a week is likely to make your muscles scream in agony, and leave you lying in bed when the gym alarm goes off. Take it slowly, go easy on your body and build up to longer, more intense sessions. The more pressure you put on your body at the beginning, the less likely you are to make exercise a lasting part of your routine.
  • And finally – stay away from the scale! Weighing yourself continually will play havoc with your mind, especially as your body’s weight naturally fluctuates from day to day. Not only that, muscle weighs more than fat, so while you may be becoming leaner and stronger due to exercise, the scale may actually show an increase, which may cause you to become demotivated and give up. The best way to judge fat loss is through measuring yourself, and by seeing how much better your clothes fit you. If you absolutely must weigh yourself, then only do so once a week, or even better, once a fortnight.

Remember that all the information detailed here serves as a guideline for healthy eating and weight loss. Please ensure to always visit a doctor, dietician or other qualified individual before changing your diet and exercise routine. For more information, please refer to our site disclaimer.